In the world of search engine optimization (SEO), link building is an important part of getting to the top of the search engines. When you are developing your link building strategy, it is important to be very proactive in your approach rather than just allowing it to happen naturally.
As you are considering the myriad tactics to gain links, you'll want to look at building efficiencies in your approach. It can be time consuming and ineffective if you take more time than necessary looking for links in all the wrong places.
For this very reason it is important to identify the mass amount of junk that is posted every day to various websites detailing ways of “link building.” This post will focus on what are some of the most effective link building strategies that are white hat (legitimate in Google’s eyes) and don’t spam your email or websites.
- Internal Links – These links allow your site visitors to traverse to different pages on your website. They are links in your menu, footer and other areas of your site. In addition to your site visitors moving from page to page, the bots in charge of indexing your site also need this ability. Although it will not really affect your ranking per se, it will make it easier for the search engines to know all the content you have.
- Manual Link Submission – There are many websites that will offer free links to your website. You'll have to do some research because you are looking for websites that are relevant to you have a reason to submit. Stay away from those that are asking for a reciprocal link. A one-way link to you is best.
- SEO Directories – These directories are beginning to fall out of favor. Sometimes Google even considers them a link farm and has started cracking down. In our practice, we do this significantly less than we used to. Do your research to know if these make sense for you.
- Viral Campaigns – If executed properly, viral content can be great in creating an effective link building campaign. It draws links from other websites, which will get promoted in many other areas without your push. Sometimes the right image, video or article will create enough buzz that your website will be linked many times over.
- Contributing – If you contribute you work to other web locations, they will link back to you. Sometimes that is as simple as writing an article for a magazine, providing commentary on blogs or participating in forums. The more active you are in giving away information, the more links you'll find coming to your website.
- Content – The most effective link building tactic, by far, is to have legitimate, quality, and relevant content that will entice people to read. Content is key and, if written well, will appear on highly ranked sites, be ‘retweeted’, and start up discussions within a community of social networks.
Link building doesn't have to be hard but it does take time. It's not something you can set and forget. It requires, like all other SEO tactics, time and effort. There is no short-term quick fix.
If you dedicate the time and energy to take the necessary steps to build links properly, there is no doubt you will succeed.
Link building can be fun. Find something you enjoy writing about instead of being a marketing assignment. Just watch your website increase in search rankings.